This morning, my alarm woke me up with the song “Never Again” by Nickleback. I’ve heard this song lots of times and don’t really pay attention to the lyrics all that much. But this time, they did catch my attention. For example, here are the first two verses:
He’s drunk again, it’s time to fight
She must have done something wrong tonight
The living room becomes a boxing ring
It’s time to run when you see him
Clenching his hands
She’s just a woman
I hear her scream, from down the hall
Amazing she can even talk at all
She cries to me, Go back to bed
I’m terrified, That she’ll wind up dead
In his hands, She’s just a woman
After our discussion about patriarchy in class, I thought this song was a particularly well-timed example of the ideology of patriarchy. First of all, it demonstrates violence against women (or a repressive state apparati, to use the terminology from the course). Her boyfriend/husband/father/whomever is drunk and beating her up. But more insidiously, this song also demonstrates an ideological state apparati: the line “She’s just a woman” appears over and over again, implying that the woman is inferior, and helpless. While the end of the song’s story shows that she is not helpless, as she deals with the problem once and for all, this line appears six times within the song’s lyrics, and two of these instances are after she’s dealt with the man.
The full lyrics can be found here.
When I wandered into class last Thursday, I thought I understood. I had just read Klages’ chapter on Deconstruction the night before; while I had a few questions, I thought Deconstruction was pretty straightforward. I thought that Dr. Pound would provide me with that extra bit of clarification that I needed.
Boy was I wrong.
I sat through class wondering what the heck was going on. It was only after the first half hour or so that I figured out we weren’t talking about Deconstruction yet. And when we finally moved onto Deconstruction, things only got more confusing. I will admit here that part of my confusion stemmed from Klages. I read her discussion of the centre as the centre being separate from the binary opposition. Klages says “The center holds the whole structure in place, keeping each of the binary opposites on its proper side of the slash” (55). This makes it sound like the centre is separate from the two terms in the binary opposite. As an example, in the case of heaven and earth, God would be the centre. From this example, God is part of the system, necessary for it to function, but apart from it. This example works if God is the centre of the entire system of Western Thought, which is made up of all these binary oppositions. But in class we have been talking about the binary oppositions as systems all their own, which is where my real confusion appears to be stemming from. A friend of mine who took this class in the past even lent me some notes, and I was going to say “I get it” as I tried to explain it here, but I find that I really don’t. Binary opposites are made up of two opposing terms, such as “light” and “dark.” You cannot have both at the same time. We priviledge the first term over the second. In class, we have been calling this priviledged term the centre of the system. The centre keeps everything in place, but also allows for play between its elements. In the case of “light” and “dark,” I cannot really see how “light” keeps the system in place. In a different example, such as “teacher” and “student,” I can kind of see how the teacher would keep the center in place. But it makes more sense if an outside force, such as “the education system,” is imposing the opposition of “teacher” and “student.” This is similar to what Klages said: “every system posits a center, a place from which the whole system comes and which regulates the system” (55). It also makes sense that the centre is not one of the two opposing terms, as otherwise the centre would have to be bound by the system. The teacher is bound by the education system as surely as the students, just in a different way.
But if you take the example of “teacher” and “class,” the story is a bit different. The teacher is part of the class, but is not one of the learners. In that way, the teacher is then outside of the classroom system. But to be outside of the system, how can “teacher” be the opposite of “class?”
I dreamed a few nights ago that I was in Victoriaville mall with a friend of mine. I told him that in the past, my brother and I used to go up to the second level above the food court and shimmy around the outside of the railing. My friend decided that sounded like fun, so he left me to try it. There was a father with some young children, a boy and a girl, who were watching him. The father complained to me about my friend going around the outside of the railing; the father said he was a bad influence for the children. We all went upstairs to find my friend sitting at a table, waiting for us. The balcony is a strange, unstable shape and my friend was sitting at the spot that juts out over what I call the green (it used to be an area of green carpet, but I believe it is now grey tile). After sitting for a little while, my friend decided it was a good idea to start jumping up and down in an effort to tip the balcony over onto the green.
I don’t normally remember my dreams, so I was lucky to have had this one before having to analyze one using Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams” for a class. I started analyzing the dream using Freud`s method, but I was still looking at it from my own perspective. Part way through my analysis, I decided to look at the dream the way Freud might. This was when my analysis got a little strange: I started seeing weird things like the Electra complex where before I only saw things relevant to my daily life.
I personally am not a fan of Freud`s theories, especially the psychosexual theory (the Oedipus and Electra complexes). So I was quite surprised when I was able to `find`evidence of the Electra complex in my dream. I thought that this was a really good illustration of how different theory frameworks highlight certain aspects of a text while downplaying others.